~ Festival Silêncio ~

Poetry film screening season is upon us!

Autumn is here, and with it the annual parade of poetry film festivals and screenings that do so much to expose new audiences to this still obscure hybrid genre. Many of the films shown in these events are yet not available to watch on the web (and some may never be), besides which most films do deserve to be seen on the big screen, so please try to support live events like these. Here’s a rather too brief run-down, including one that just concluded.

September 28-October 1: Festival Silêncio, Lisbon, “Isto Não é um Filme. É Um Poema” (That’s Not a Film. It’s a Poem) competition. Just in, here are the results:


Prémio Especial do Júri Competição Nacional:
‘Dia’ de Rita Quelhas

‘A Montanha’ de Pedro Caldeira

‘Running Man’ de Pedro Sena Nunes


Vencedor Internacional
‘Spree’ de Martin Kelly & Ian McBryde

Prémio de Público Internacional
‘Vaccine’ de Kate Sweeney

October 7: Juteback Poetry Film Festival Fall Screening, Fort Collins, Colorado (USA). There’s an annotated list of the films on their website.

October 13: My Eyes Like Rays: National Poetry Competition Filmpoem screening & poetry reading, Poetry Cafe, London (UK). “Filmpoem makers James William Norton, Helmie Stil and Sarah Tremlett will screen all ten NPC films.” I’m glad the Poetry Society is still promoting poetry films, and I hope to be able to share some of them when they’re released to the web.

October 15: 5th Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition screening, Cork (Ireland). Click the foregoing link for the shortlist as well as time and place details.

October 21: Rabbit Heart Poetry film Festival, Worcester, Massachusetts (USA). Here are the 2017 shortlists. (That’s right, they have more than one. And if you think some of them are actually rather long, you should see the longlist. This year they received over 350 submissions from 41 countries!) And here’s the trailer.

October 28: Filmpoem Festival 2017, Lewes, East Sussex (UK). A few more details about the event are on Facebook.

October 28: Cinema Poetica, Ashland, Oregon (USA)

November 9-11: Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival, Vienna (Austria). Click through and use the drop-down menus to peruse the programs for the multiple components of this supremely well-organized event — now the second largest poetry film festival in the world, with 82 films screening over three days. Here’s the trailer.

November 25-26: 6th CYCLOP Poetry Film Festival, Kiev (Ukraine). The submissions period just closed, so I’m guessing it will be a few weeks until the shortlist is released.

Open call for poetry films: Festival Silêncio 2017

Festival Silencio 2017 open call poster


Festival Silêncio is the celebration of word. Word as a creative unit and the vehicle of both thought and artistic creation is the engine behind this project. Festival Silêncio will take place in 2017 between the 28th of September and October 1st at Cais do Sodré, Lisbon.

“This is not a movie. It’s a poem.” is a poetry film showcase organised within the Festival Silêncio that includes a national and an international competition. The films in competition will be the manifestation of audiovisual poetical language which will be using cinematographic narrative to state itself as a message.


Between the 28th of September and October 1st, in Lisbon.


  • Poetry films with the maximum duration of 10 minutes will be admitted for selection.
  • There are no restrictions of genre, theme or approach.
  • The films may be based on well widely recognized poetry, of Portuguese or universal origin, or be based on original poems.
  • Films with spoken or written text, not in Portuguese language in the original version, should be subtitled either in Portuguese or English.
  • Each participant can enter an unlimited number of films.
  • There will be no admission of films already shown on commercial circuits.
  • There is no age limit.


  • The enrollment of films is free of charge;
  • Entries will cease on May the 31st; (Deadline was extended to June 20th!)
  • To enroll a film the following items must be sent:
    a. Enrollment form, properly filled.
    b. 3 stills of the film with a minimum resolution of 4MP.
    c. Other materials considered relevant, as, for example, the film poster.

The admission process must be entirely sent to poetryfilm@ctlisbon.com


Copy of the film (format MP4/H264 in HD 1080p or 720p, Quicktime/H264 or ProRes/H264 in HD 1080p or 720p) spoken or subtitled in Portuguese or English.


The selection jury will be composed of elements chosen by the organization and will have the task to select the works that will be presented in Festival Silêncio.

6.1. The film selection takes three categories into account:

6.1.1. Best National Poetry Film
6.1.2. Best International Poetry Film
6.1.3. Audience’s choice


The intellectual property and the copyrights of the films submitted to the competition will remain with the authors. When signing the admission form the participant declares being the author of the presented films and being the rightful owner of relevant copyright. The participant takes full responsibility on any controversy that might arise concerning the originality of the work and/or the property of the above mentioned rights. For all legal effects, the participants take full responsibility for the films they enroll. The Festival expressly disavows any responsibility, and will not be held responsible for any unauthorized inclusion of any content or materials within or relating to the submitted Film that are or may be the basis for any Third Party Claim.


When enrolling your film at the Competitive Showcase of Festival Silêncio, the participant agrees that the film can be, totally or partially, reproduced in any other place or event related to Festival Silêncio.

Call for poetry films: Festival Silêncio 2016

The Festival Silêncio is coming to Lisbon at the end of June, and they’ve issued a call for poetry films to be screened during the festival. You can download PDFs of the guidelines and submission form at this link. They’re looking for films in either Portuguese or English (or with subtitles in one of those languages), up to five minutes long. The deadline for submissions is June 19.

[Update 6/6] Festival organizer Alexandre Braga sent along a plain-text version of the guidelines. I’ll paste them in below.


Festival Silêncio will take place between June 30 and July 3 at Cais do Sodré, Lisbon.
Festival Silêncio is the word celebration! It is a popular and transdisciplinary event that celebrates the power of words to stimulate, inspire and enhance the artistic creation, cultural reflection and collective participation. In this context, the Festival holds a Poetry Film cycle which includes a competitive section and a non-competitive section.

Poetry-film is an artistic genre that combines words, sound and vision. As stated by Alastair Cook (2010), “it is an attempt to take a poem and present it through a medium that will create a new artwork, separate from the original poem”. The competing films must use cinematic language to convey a poetic narrative.

Between June 30 and July 3, 2016, in Lisbon.


  • Poetry films with a maximum 5-minute duration are eligible for selection.
  • There are no restrictions regarding genre, theme or approach.
  • The films may be inspired by canonical poems or original poems.
  • Films with incorporated voice or text and whose original version is not Portuguese should have English or Portuguese subtitles.
  • There is no age limit.
  • Each participant can present an unlimited number of films.
  • Registration is not admissible for commercially distributed films.


  • Film registration is free of charge;
  • Registrations end in June 19, 2016;
  • To register a film, the following elements are to be sent:
    1. the link to the visioning copy (youtube, vimeo). Other platforms may be accepted only if a minimum visioning quality is ensured;
    2. the film’s synopsis (max. 400 characters);
    3. the author’s biography (max. 200 characters);
    4. other relevant materials, such as film posters;
    5. duly completed registration form.

Registration documents must be sent to poetryfilm@ctlisbon.com

Film copy (MP4 format | H264 in 1080p or 720p HD), with a maximum 5-minute duration, with English or Portuguese subtitles or dialogues.

The selection jury will be appointed by the organization and its task will be to select the works to be presented.
The selection of films will take into account three categories:

  • Best National Poetry Film
  • Best International Poetry Film
  • Public’s Selection

Intelectual property and copyrights of the films being submitted to competition are to remain with the director. By signing the registration form, the participant declares that he or she is the author of the films being submitted and copyright holder. The participant has full responsibility for any dispute on a work’s originality and/or the ownership of the aforementioned rights. For all legal intents, every author has full responsibility on the films that he or she registers. Festival Silêncio will decline any responsibility with regard to third parties.

By registering his or her name at the Competitive Exhibition of Festival Silêncio the participant agrees that it may be fully or partially reproduced in any further locale or event related with Festival Silêncio.